Adriatic Charter (A-5)

The so-called Western Balkan countries, Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia, as member countries of Partnership for Peace (PfP) and Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) after the Summit of Prague in 2002, when invitation were sent to seven out of ten aspiring countries, decided to follow the same path as the former Baltic countries, called “Vilnus Group”, successfully did. The creation of A-3 group is part of the vision to integrate the entire region into NATO Alliance, following the fulfilment of all the required conditions.
In the process of admission of the A-3 countries into the Alliance, the USA as a strategic partner, as well as other NATO member countries as special advisors, offered important support to promote this new form of cooperation among countries.

The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Albania, Macedonia, Croatia, and the USA, signed in Tirana on 02 May 2003, “The Adriatic Charter”. The cooperation among the three countries aspiring to join NATO, along with the USA as part of A-3 Charter, had only one objective: Admission of the aspiring countries in NATO. The cooperation within A-3 Charter would promote and strengthen, first of all, the regional cooperation and security, but also increase interoperability and adaptation of standards through joint exercises and cooperative activities of respective units.
'The Adriatic Charter’ and membership into NATO required not only the stimulation of reforms started by the Armed Forces of the three respective countries, but also democratic reforms, respect of human rights, minorities, engagement in the fight against terrorism, inter-border traffic, weapons of mass destruction, etc.
We should point out that the Charter did not impose particular obligations on the three countries, but only general obligations, valid for all NATO member countries. Besides this as it was stressed in the summarizing introduction to the Chart, the progress of the three countries would be assessed based on their individual achievements.

In order to strengthen the cooperation among A-3 countries and the USA, under the supervision of high adequate levels (Ministers/Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs) was set up a partnership commission. The commission met twice a year or more often, according needs, in one of the cities of the Charter’s signing countries, with the main aim of considering the completion of activities and planning future ones.
In order to effectively implement the obligations deriving from ‘The Adriatic Charter’, it was agreed that the direction of the joint initiative should be realized by a six - month rotational system. The cooperation among aspiring countries was carried out at various levels and areas within A-3.  Numerous were the institutions involved in this process, such as:  The Presidents of the States, Ministers of Defence, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Chiefs of Staff, Command, Directorates, etc.  Apart from state institutions, many non-profiting organizations were involved in this process to ensure public support for integration of the region into the Euro-Atlantic Alliance.
Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina officially joined ‘The Adriatic Charter’, at a meeting of OSCE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held in Helsinki, Finland, on 04 December 2008.

Cooperation results

As a result of this cooperation numerous activities, meetings, exercises have been realized but also joint teams were set up aiming to create the military capacities with the purpose of reaching the standards that enable not only the NATO membership, but also providing joint contribution to international military or civilian missions.

•  Joint medical team

The most significant project within the framework of ‘The Adriatic Charter’ is the creation of a joint medical team of A-3 countries, to be involved on ISAF mission in Afghanistan, at the International Airport of Kabul, but also in the whole area of ISAF operations.

•  Joint exercises


•  The regional center for Public Relations and Training in Macedonia

This center was opened on 15 November 2005 in Macedonia, as a result of an extraordinary cooperation between MoD of Macedonia and the Swiss Confederation. The main objective of creating this center was to intensively train and educate the personnel of MoD and AF of Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia in public relations, aiming to have a multiple benefit: preservation of peace through regional cooperation, familiarization with PfP standards, exchange and sharing of positive experiences with Swiss instructors.

•  Regional Defence College: Senior Security and Defence Course in Tirana

This initiative in the educational filed aims to increase and strengthen cooperation among the countries of the region, through security issues and defense policies. The course offers to the participants the opportunity to promote themselves at their workplaces. As referential curricula in this course materials from the European Center for Security studies ‘George C. Marshall’, NATO College in Rome, Baltic College of Defense, War College in the USA, etc, are used.

•  Integration in Euro-Atlantic structures

The most significant result of this initiative, since its creation, was undoubtedly the membership of Croatia and Albania into NATO, in April 2009, after the invitation received at the Bucharest Summit in 2008.

Current Involvement

During these years of existence of A-5, there have been various activities. Besides former involvement stemming from A-3 format, A-5 member countries have tried to maintain a high level of cooperation. Thus, under the proposal of the Croatian party, there is in process the involvement of ‘The Adriatic Chart’ (A-5) countries with training and monitoring teams in Afghanistan. (NTM, OMLT, POMLT).

The engagement in Resolute Support Mission, Afghanistan

In the framework of the collaboration between A5 Member Countries in order to contribute for the security in Afghanistan and in accordance with the Decision nr. 177, 25.02.2015 of the Council of Ministers “On the participation of the Armed Forces in the RSM operation at the Train, Advise and Assist Command, as part of the Adriatic Charter initiative in Afghanistan”.
Albanian Armed Forces (AAF) participates with two servicemen serving in the Situational Awareness Recovery Operations (SAROC) at the of Train Advise Assist Command - North, in Mazar i Sharif.

Annual cooperation programs of A - 5 Member Countries

The cooperation of the member countries of the Initiative is programmed based on the annual cooperation programs in the field of Defence. In this programs are included detailed inquiry of various areas of common interest. The programs include the following meetings:

- Annual Defence Ministers meeting

- Annual ChoD meeting

 - Annual Political directors meeting (there are two meetings, one of which is a mutual meeting between political directors of the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

- Periodical meeting of the Implementation Working Group 

- Meetings of Logistics Directors

- Meetings of Intelligence Directors

- Common Exercises

- Seminars

- Trainings

The Chairmanship of the US – Adriatic Chart (A5) for 2019

Albania, being one of the founder countries of many regional initiatives, is one of the most active countries in the region when it comes to regional initiatives such as A5 and SEDM.

1. During 2019 Chairmanship, Albania aims to conduct the Open Doors Policy in this directions:

a. Appling the Open Doors Policy for A5 observer countries
b. Promoting Open Doors Policy for every country in the region that aspires to be an A5 member country
c. Euro – Atlantic Integration
d. Collaboration and coordination between member countries with the support of USA in order to promote political dialog between neighbor countries
e. Increasing collaboration in order to prevent and manage common regional challenges such as terrorism and radical extremism
f. Continuing RSM commitment
g. Regional collaboration in the framework of Civil Emergency or similar subject
h. Promoting Regional Training Centers, through better cooperation and coordination, in order to make them more utilitarian, thereby enabling them to better respond to national needs

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